WHAT IS OSTEOMALACIA?
Osteomalacia is the softening of the bones caused by impaired bones metabolism primarily due to inadequate levels of available phosphate, calcium, vitamin, and re-absorption of calcium.
The impairment of bone metabolism causes inadequate bone mineralization. In children, the condition is known as rickets. And because of this, the term OSTEOMALACIA is limited to adults only. Osteomalacia in adults starts insidiously as body aches and pain in lumber i.e the lower back region and thighs before spreading to the arms and ribs. The pain is symmetrical, non-radiation, and accompanied by sensitivity in involved bones.
When a normal bone is formed, the fibers are coated with mineral. This process is called mineralization. The strength of the new bone depends on the amount of mineral covering the collagen matrix. The more mineral laid the stronger the bone.
Osteomalacia happens if mineralization doesn't take place properly. In Osteomalacia, more and more bones are made up of a collagen matrix without a mineral covering, so the bones become soft. These bones may bend and crack, and this can be painful.
There are rare types of Osteomalacia, these are usually due to problems in the kidney which results in loss of phosphorous from the body. This is sometimes inherited and passed from parents to their genes, but can also happen with other kidney problems and occasionally as a side effect of treatment with drugs.
WHO CAN GET OSTEOMALACIA
Anyone who is lacking Vitamin D is likely to develop Osteomalacia. Although we can get Vitamin D from food, most of our supply is produced by the body itself.
Cholesterol which is present naturally in the skin is converted to Vitamin D through the action of the sunlight on the skin. The people most at risk are those who aren't able to produce enough Vitamin D through exposure to sunlight.
There are a lot of factors that cause osteomalacia. Example are:
1. The full coverage of the body
2. Climatic conditions
3. Poor diet
4. Lactose intolerant
To allow bone mineralization to take place the body needs enough minerals (calcium and phosphate) and Vitamin D. if the body doesn't have enough of any of these, osteomalacia will develop.
However, not having enough calcium is very unusual as a cause of osteomalacia in western countries. Certain rare disorders can cause a normal kidney to lose phosphorous, which can cause osteomalacia, but the most common causes are:
*Lack of Vitamin D.
*PENAL TUBULAR ACIDOSIS - increase in acidity of the blood
*MALNUTRITION DURING GESTATION
*MALASORPTIONS SYNDROME - abnormal ingestion of food nutrient
*HYPOPHOSOPHATEMIZ - low level of protein.
There are many things people can do to promote healthy bones. These include:
*Diet rich in vitamins
Follow this lifestyle and you’d be free from osteomalacia.